Pathways logo

We work with schools and the local community to raise attainment, aspirations and interest in higher education, also offering careers information and guidance to children, young people and adults. We want to ensure that everyone, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of education that enriches their lives and careers.

We work across Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland and we’re one of 29 partnerships across England funded by the Office for Students (OfS) as part of their Uni Connect Programme.

We bring together the University of Leicester, Loughborough University, and De Montfort University, as well as Leicester College, and Loughborough College. Our aim is to support young people from disadvantaged backgrounds to reach their full potential through education. We work with underrepresented groups such as looked after children, young carers and students with disabilities to broaden their horizons and consider their future options.

Our work is externally funded and participant eligibility is determined by the Office for Students (OfS). Our activities are open to anyone that fits within the criteria below:
• Students with disabilities
• Looked after children
• People from disadvantaged communities
• Young carers
• Aged 11 and above
• Live in an area identified as a Pathways or UniConnect ward (determined by home postcode) (you can check individual postcodes by using the Office for Students’ POLAR and Gaps          postcode look-up, or by contacting us.)



You can find out more about our work by

OfS Uni Connect programme logo

Pathways is the partnership of higher education providers in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland as part of the Office for Students Uni-Connect programme.

The Uni Connect programme is focused on local areas where higher education participation is lower than expected, given the GCSE results of the young people who live there. The programme started in January 2017 and aims to support the government’s goals to:
1. Contribute to reducing the gap in higher education participation between the most and least represented groups.
2. Equip young and adult learners from underrepresented groups to make an informed choice about their options in relation to the full range of routes into and through higher education and to minimise the barriers they may face when choosing the option that will unlock their potential, including barriers relating to academic attainment.
3. Support a strategic local infrastructure of universities, colleges and other partners that can cut through competitive barriers, offer an efficient and low-burden route for schools and colleges to engage with higher education outreach, enable schools to engage with attainment raising activity, and address outreach ‘cold spots’ for underrepresented groups.
4. Contribute to a stronger evidence base around ‘what works’ in higher education outreach and strengthen evaluation practice across the sector.

How Uni Connect works

Uni Connect supports young people to achieve their ambitions through helping remove academic, financial and cultural barriers to higher education. It does this through supporting impartial, collaborative outreach, attainment raising and schools engagement by higher education providers.

Uni Connect Priorities

From 2022-23 Uni Connect partnerships will support collaborative approaches by universities and other higher education providers to support young people from underrepresented groups in four priority areas:
1. Targeted outreach: This aims to help young people from targeted local areas make well-informed decisions about their future education.
2. Strategic outreach: This aims to support strategic activity and engagement to address local outreach gaps.
3. Attainment raising: This aims to improve the academic attainment and progress of pupils and support their progression into higher education.
4. Signposting: This aims to offer an efficient and low-burden route for schools and colleges to engage with higher education outreach and enable schools to engage with attainment-raising activity.

Get in touch with Pathways

Main office

If you live or work in Leicester City, Leicestershire or Rutland, or would like to find out more about an activity taking place in these locations, use the contact details below.

Get in touch